I didn’t think I would come this far so soon. 10 years ago, I was just a starry-eyed girl, fresh from university looking for her place in the world. What is now my chain of stores began like child’s play. My first job was as a front desk executive at a consulting firm. Many of the well paid big girls in the office could not resist complementing my dress sense. They found it amazing that I could pull of magazine cover type of looks on my entry level salary. I knew all the hot spots for good clothes, the will to go the distance, good negotiation skills and an eye for combinations that work well. I soon became a personal shopper for most of the ladies in the office.
When I could no longer cope with the demand, I resigned and faced the business head long. Consulting for corporate fashion became my thing and I was soon a popular name at many organisations. Along the line, I picked up the habit of attaching little favours for my clients, alongside their purchases. It made a massive difference, the referrals poured in and soon, I was ordering fabric from Bangladesh and India, sending original designs to China and shipping in clothes in my label. The first store was a huge success, two stores quickly followed and now I have over 30 stores stocked with unique designs for the corporate woman, bearing my seal.
Of course, making and selling clothes is not all I have done in the past 10 years. I found love along the way and started a family not long after. Seemingly, the only thing not working in life is my relationship with my in-laws. They just cannot stand the sight of me. Traditional in their outlook and set in their ways, they cannot understand a wife that jets all over the world opening stores and gracing runways. They think their banker son deserves to come home to sumptuous food made by his wife every day. They think I am not prioritizing our two kids and that my wanderlust is the reason we do not yet have a son.
If only they knew that the glory days of bankers are over. That their son is not yet highly placed enough to earn the kind of money that can fund our current lifestyle. That the houses and cars are products of my country hopping. That the fat allowance they get every month often comes from me. Already I can hear the whispers, the prodding, he needs to get a younger wife that will stay at home to take care of him and bare him sons. At first, I was certain he would not budge, but his recent incessant complaints about my schedule is betraying the fact that he is beginning to succumb to their prodding. I would not be shocked if I return home one day to meet a yellow sisi in my kitchen, wearing the madam glow and feasting on my hard work. That’s why I could not wait, I had to take steps to secure my children and my assets.
First, I put my children’s education in a Trust, that way they will still get to attend the best schools, regardless of what happens. I am also considering estate planning. It’s time to put my house in order. Not many people think about getting a Will in their 30s but I have to. Given my situation, I can’t take chances, it’s time to Will it. I hope I live a long happy life, but if I don’t or if something happens to my marriage, I want it to be clear who owns what and who gets what. I also want my daughters to know they mean the world to me and they are the reason I work so hard.
I am not leaving this to chance, it’s time to be 100% sure.